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Thread: Mile-High tower for SA?

  1. #1

    Default Mile-High tower for SA?

    Mile-high tower: Saudi prince promises £5bn desert spire TWICE as tall as nearest rival being built


    On a clear day, the view from the top will take in the Middle East, North Africa and the Indian Ocean - providing you've a head for heights.

    Plans for a mile-high tower in the Saudi Arabian desert have been unveiled by the billionaire owner of London's Savoy Hotel.

    At 5,250ft, the £5billion project, masterminded by two British engineering consultancies, will be twice as high as its nearest rivals, skyscrapers under construction in Dubai and Kuwait, and almost seven times as high as the Canary Wharf tower in London's Docklands.

    It is being planned for a new city near the Red Sea port of Jeddah. Behind the scheme is 51-year-old Prince al-Walid bin Talal, who bought the Savoy for £1.25billion in 2005.

    The plan gives the Middle East a clear lead over Asian countries and the U.S., who have vied in the past to construct the world's tallest buildings.

    None of the other skyscrapers under construction, including New York's Freedom Tower on the World Trade Centre site, will exceed 2,296ft.

    The prince's company, Riyadh-based Kingdom Holdings, has set up a joint venture with the London firms Hyder Consulting and Arup.

    Experts say the technical challenges are enormous. Much of the lifting will be carried out by helicopters, which will also be used as commuter transport for builders.

    The tower will have to be capable of withstanding a wide range of temperatures, with its top baking in the desert sun by day but dropping to well below freezing at night.

    To resist the strong winds prevalent in the area and stop it swaying, giving its occupants a form of high-rise seasickness, it will be fitted with a giant computer-operated damper.

    Two "mini-towers" - both taller than Canary Wharf - will be built on either side of the main tower.

    Linked to it by elevated walkways, they will anchor it and act as stabilisers.

    Until recently, the still-under-construction Dubai Tower was expected to be the world's tallest building.

    Plans have changed several times to make it higher, but the final version is expected to be 2,300ft with 160 storeys.

    Pic: Little brother: The Dubai Tower and Prince al-Walid bin Talal, who is behind the scheme
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Click image for larger version. 

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  2. #2


    April fool, very funny.

  3. #3


    are you sure, darn.

    That's like the fourth I've fallen for today. I'm usually sharper. I blame sleep deprivation.

  4. #4


    Its not an april fool, this is real I think. Ive seen it before today

  5. #5
    Disgruntled Optimist lofter1's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    NYC - Downtown


    Not so sure this story falls into the AFD category, expecially considering ths blog entry from last October ...

    Thursday, October 11, 2007

    Saudi Arabia Building World's Tallest Building

    "Dubai to Build World's Tallest Building"

    "Construction on Burj Dubai Begins"

    "Two More Floors Left and Burj Dubai Will Become World's Tallest Building"

    "Burj Dubai Will Become World's Tallest Building Tomorrow"

    "Burj Dubai World's Tallest Free Standing Structure"

    If you are a resident of the Middle East, these headlines will sound very familiar. For the past couple of years, all we've been hearing is how Dubai is so fabulous and how the Emaratis are building the world's tallest building called “Burj Dubai.”

    Well the Dot-man has news for Dubai: Burj Dubai is going down because Saudi Arabia has finalized plans to build the world’s tallest building in the coastal city of Jeddah, the Bride of the Red Sea.

    The building will be known as the mile-high tower because … it is a mile high or 1,600 meters (1.6 kilometers) in height. And guess who is building it? Saudi Prince Al-Waleed bin Talal aka the Arabian Warren Buffett!

    Prince Al-Waleed is investing a staggering SR50 billion or $20 billion into the project, which will be built in Jeddah's northern Obhur district and will cover an area of 5.3 million square meters.

    According to a press release on his company’s website, the mile-high building is part of a massive project, which in addition to the colossal sky scraper, will have other facilities (residential, commercial, construction of a five star hotel and offices). Click here to read more about the plans.

    Officially there hasn’t been much news about the project. Though I’m sure once construction begins, Prince Waleed’s office will go on a massive ego-boosting PR campaign, hailing and praising the project. Residents of Saudi Arabia should brace themselves for full-page advertisements highlighting the Kingdom Holding Company's achievements.

    Prince Waleed who has massive business interests in the US and is known for his pro-US views, has chosen Bechtel to supervise and develop the project. Bechtel, the largest engineering company in the United States, has excellent relations with the Saudi royal family (and the Bush administration wink wink). Bechtel is involved in several projects inside the kingdom, they also built Saudi Arabia’s current tallest building, the Kingdom Tower or Al-Mamlakah in Riyadh. The picturesque Kingdom Tower is also owned by Prince Waleed and serves as the headquarters of his company.

    Here is prince Waleed (center) sitting with Bechtel excutives during the signing of the project.

    Though I don't understand why the whole world is competing to make the tallest skyscraper (are there not enough poor children to feed???), I fully support Prince Waleed and his ambitious projects. Saudi Arabia is often stereotyped as a country of terrorists and religious extremists and it is people like Prince Waleed who will steer this country toward a different direction and portray it in a more postive light. Lets hope by the time the mile-high tower is built, Prince Waleed manages to convince the government to ease rules on obtaining visit visas to the kingdom, so people like Woozie and Emarat Jabal Shammar can come and see the world's tallest building and then go home and tell their friends how fa-fa-fa-fa-fabulous Saudi Arabia Jeddah is.

  6. #6


    Quote Originally Posted by alonzo-ny View Post
    April fool, very funny.
    No, I saw an article about it on March 31.

  7. #7
    Forum Veteran MidtownGuy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    East Midtown


    And me in February. This is evidently for real.

  8. #8
    Forum Veteran
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    New York City


    I guess this is what $4/gallon gas can buy you...

  9. #9


    The ESB is not diagrammed correctly.

  10. #10


    Will this seriously get built? Wow, what an ego project! The purpose of this is what, just to show the might of SA or to attract business/tourism to Jeddah, or both? I wonder if the Burj pushed them to do this?

    I'd say this will be the tallest for decades. Twice the height of the Burj

  11. #11


    Oh, and is this justified economically, is there a need or is this just an ego project to pump up the image of a country?

  12. #12
    Forum Veteran
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    Feb 2008
    New York City


    It does look like it's going ahead since the architects have just been hired. I can't imagine that such a monstrosity is justified economically, but then again it's not as if the Saudis don't have excess cash on hand from the world's addiction to oil. Just like a trust fund baby will buy a limited edition Ferrari because he can, so too will the Saudis build the world's tallest tower to make a statement.

  13. #13


    It's going ahead? Crazy. I still don't believe it will be built to a mile though, sorry

  14. #14
    Forum Veteran
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    New York City


    Jeddah’s Kingdom Tower, World’s Tallest Building Given the Go Ahead

    Kingdom Tower will make the Burj Khalifa look short, reach one mile up

    Last edited by GordonGecko; April 13th, 2011 at 11:02 AM. Reason: Picture enlargement

  15. #15


    Quote Originally Posted by futurecity View Post
    Oh, and is this justified economically, is there a need or is this just an ego project to pump up the image of a country?
    You must know this answer already.

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